It’s finally that time – you’re now on the market for a roofing contractor to replace your home or business’s roof. Maybe you just need your roof repaired and are trying to find someone to fix the issues. Both circumstances require an investment of time and money, so you want to make the best and most informed decision possible. You should get quotes from multiple companies to compare, but as you’re dealing with several companies, it can be hard to distinguish who is the best and why. We are here to provide you with 6 key areas you should seek to learn about a roofing contractor before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Reviews & Referrals
As you begin your search, it’s likely that you have neighbors, family, or friends who told you about a roofing company that they worked with, whether good or bad. You’re going to take these referrals and check them out online – and you should! Don’t just take the recommendation from people within your immediate circle, but see what other customers say about their experience with that roofing company.
You should check out the following listings to see who recommends this business and additional comments regarding their interactions. Do this by searching in Google, [roofing contractor’s name] Better Business Bureau for example, and you’ll click on the relevant result to take you to their profile:
You also want to ensure that this company has experience with your type of project. Once you’re in contact with your sales representative at the company, ask him or her for references that you can speak with directly! This is especially helpful if you have a more custom project based on the material you’re interested in or how complicated your roof’s design is – you can talk to other customers who had a similar job to yours.
2. Licensing & Insurance
You don’t want anyone working on your home that doesn’t carry the correct state licenses. This could cause many problems down the road, not just from the integrity of the work completed, but the work might not meet building codes in your area. For a contractor to receive their license, they are required to meet a minimum hours of work experience and pass a building code knowledge test.
With no license, the roofer isn’t considered a bonded contractor. Bonded contractors have a type of insurance covering your project if it becomes unfinished for some reason. If your unlicensed contractor doesn’t complete the job, there are limited compensations or legal actions you can take.
If the roofing contractor isn’t licensed, that also means they’re not insured. An unlicensed contractor without insurance means no liability or worker’s compensation insurance. Any damages to your home wouldn’t be covered by the roofer, so you’re responsible for paying for any repairs. Plus, if the contractor’s employee gets hurt working on your roof, you may be responsible to pay for all of their medical expenses.
Make sure the contractors working on your roof are licensed. Pennsylvanians can use the Home Improvement Consumer Information Tool to check the companies you’re considering working with.
Your daily routine shouldn’t be greatly affected by the roofing crew replacing your roof. You don’t want to be worrying about the safety measures actively taken by the crew members, and if everyone is acting in a safe manner. This is where OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration agency, steps in. The Occupational Safety and Health Act signed into law in 1970 states that employers have the responsibility and obligation to provide a safe work space. Standards, training, outreach, education, and assistance for a safe work environment became enforceable through fines, penalties, and potential business shutdowns.
For the roofing industry, OSHA requires fall protection which can be achieved through different means (i.e. guard rail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system). Roofing companies’ work sites must be OSHA compliant – make sure to ask roofing contractors what they use as their fall protection method and if they are OSHA compliant!
Between the workmanship and the materials, it’s important to know that your home is going to be protected long after your new roof installation is completed. You could hire the best roofing company in the world, but material failure is always on the table. Each roofing company likely has a manufacturer of choice for each material they install or repair. The manufacturer warranty, as contractors will refer to it, is how long after installation that the company producing the roof material will cover any failures and to what extent. The length of coverage ranges based on the material type, quality level of the roofing system, and of course, by company.
What about if you are installing the longest lasting material in the world? Well, you need to make sure it’s installed correctly. Ask your roofing companies what their workmanship warranty is. This is a set amount of time that roofers will take responsibility for any problems that arise because they could be a result of improper installation. Many roofing companies boast a long workmanship warranty period, but then you find the warranty is not transferable to a future homeowner or it may have other limitations.
The style, frequency, and quality of communication between you and your potential roofing contractors is key for a successful project. According to the Better Business Bureau, roofing contractors are the most complained-about service provider in construction and home improvements industries.
From you submitting the online form or making the first phone call, pay attention to the entire process. Are the next steps clear? Do you feel comfortable talking to the employees or do you feel rushed? Are you a priority?
Every company approaches their sales process differently, especially as more advanced technology becomes available and clients typically don’t want to wait longer than a couple days to receive an estimate. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarity regarding timelines and scope. If the team is responsive, resourceful, and respectful from the first conversation all the way until decision time, you should feel confident that the company isn’t going to leave you in the dark as your roofing project actually begins.
A full roof replacement isn’t something everyone can afford to pay out of pocket. Maybe you recently had to replace your HVAC system or your daughter is heading off to college – whatever it may be, a $10,000+ reroofing project may not be in the budget. However, many roofers do offer financing options. They are offered through a third-party company like Hearth or Acorn Finance.
Your payment choices will vary depending on 3 factors:
- Credit Score
- Current Debt
Working with a company that has these flexible options is going to be ideal. You want to make sure they can meet your roofing needs but also not break the bank.
Ready to Sign?
Go ahead and print this article to make yourself a checklist. Prior to making your final decision, run down this list and see if your roofing contractors have passed each section. Some areas may mean more to you than others, so weight them as you see fit!
Before officially signing the contract, read it in full. Don’t let your eyes glaze over with any terms and conditions because this is an area that could cause issues if you’re not careful.
After you’ve signed your contract, double check with your selected roofer after about 24 hours to ensure they received it and establish next steps! (This is of course if they haven’t already confirmed and told you what next steps are.)
If you’re interested in working with a licensed, experienced, and trusted company in Southeastern Pennsylvania, we’d love to provide you with a free quote. Fill out a form to tell us about you or give us a call.